Big ideas for little kids’ bedrooms
In tribute to all you superhuman parents out there, here’s a few ways to make your kids’ bedroom work that little bit harder so you don’t have to!
Buy a multifunctional bed
Floor space is precious, so free it up with a bed that eliminates the need for additional furniture. Cue a cabin bed (or midsleeper) comprising an elevated frame with space for storage underneath. This could be drawers, cupboards ot shelving. Another option is a trundle drawer that can be used as an extra sleeping space or a large storage drawer. Some cabin beds also feature a desk that can be pulled in and out.
An alternative to a cabin bed is a loft bed (or high sleeper). It’s elevated like a cabin bed but it’s higher, so it’s perhaps better suited to an older child. With a generous area underneath that can include everything from a children’s wardrobe to a built-in desk together with lots of storage, a loft bed is a lifesaver if you need to stretch space. Design note: always check the height of your high sleeper against the height of your ceiling so that your child can sit up in bed.
A cabin bed allows Olivia Edwards-Silk of @lustliving to pack more into her stepdaughter’s absolutely gorgeous bedroom (above). Design note: a pull-out desk is masked by the elegant bed canopy, which – let’s face it – appeals to the princess in all of us.
Think about storage
If you’re in the market for a children’s single bed, shop for one with built-in storage. After all, low-level storage makes it easy for children to get into the habit of packing their toys away from a young age. Choices include drawers or a sliding panel that allows you to have a bedside table and still access the under-bed storage (try Argos). By the way, don’t let this space become a wasteland for things you (or your children) don’t know what to do with. Clear it out once in a while to make sure you’re using it to best effect. If your kids don’t have built-in storage under their bed, stash cheap and cheerful storage boxes underneath.
Pack up toys, extra blankets or craft supplies in a vintage suitcase and slot it under the bed in the style of @bytrineravn (below). Be it a flea-market find or only vintage in style, a suitcase can be a whimsical addition to a child’s bedroom.
Consider a bunk bed
I am one of four kids, so bunk beds were a staple in our house. Generally comprising one bed on top of the other (although triple bunk beds are available) with a ladder providing access to the top bunk. For flexibility, many bunk beds can be separated into singles when the time is right. Integrated storage options include standard drawers or a trundle drawer that can either be used for storage or as a guest bed (simply pop a mattress on it).
An alternative to a standard bunk bed is an L-shaped option whereby the lower bed sits at a 90-degree angle to the top bunk. This flexible arrangement creates space at the bottom for a bookcase or a desk. Whatever style of bunk bed you choose, check its height in relation to the ceiling. Bunks vary in height so you’ll want to make sure the child in the top bunk can sit up in bed.
For safety reasons, manufacturers recommend that top bunks are only used by kids aged six and over. Fit a safety rail on both sides of the bunk bed and secure the ladder so it doesn’t slip. It’s also a good idea to use a night light so that a child on the top bunk can see if they need to get down during the night.
Kelly Day (@thisismyhomestyle) has kitted out her kids’ room with lots of thoughtful little touches (above). Note the grey pocket organiser from Normann Copenhagen attached to the wall above the top bunk. As a kid who spent her childhood clambering up and down a bunk bed ladder because she’d forgotten her bedtime reading, I love this idea!
Don’t forget the desk
A desk will take up valuable floor space in your child’s bedroom, so make sure it earns its keep! First and foremost, is it well made? You’ll want to make sure that it’s sturdy enough to withstand the daily rough and tumble. You’ll also need a desk that’s age- and size-appropriate. You may want to buy a desk that’ll last your child for years. But realistically, you need to change the size and use of the desk as your child grows.
If your child is at school, they’ll need somewhere to store school paraphernalia, so make sure the desk has drawers. Organise the table top with pen and pencil holders. Or keep the surface clutter-free with wall-mounted storage. One parent I know has mounted a rail above the desk and hung Ikea’s Fintorp pots from it – it works a treat!
Team the desk with a comfortable chair so that your kids have no excuse not to sit at it! Again, make sure it is age-appropriate. A swivel chair might be the perfect fit for a teenager, but its height and movement could make it potentially dangerous for a younger child. Zoe Young (@homestylemother) has aced it with the design of her daughter’s bedroom (above). The desk has plenty of drawers (storage, tick). The chair is cosied up with a cushion (comfort, tick). And the desktop has been organised with accessories so that everything has its place.
Featured image: To create this double desk, Hayley Herbig of @three.little.poppies has floated a wooden worktop between two chests of drawers. The desk is narrow, so to keep the table top clear of clutter, Hayley has mounted a peg board on the wall. It is customised with pine shelves, Ikea spice racks and a hat rack from which she has hung colourful buckets.
Want more? If this blog has got you thinking about furniture in the rest of the house, catch up on other related blogs here.